New York City – January 2020

Arriving late in the day to JFK, we had decided to stay our first night at the newly opened TWA hotel at the airport.  They turned the old TWA terminal into a retro throw back hotel of the 60’s.  The red velvet looking carpet lined the hallways along with old TWA posters to the check in counters which is now the guest hotel check in.  The lobby looked like a movie set back in time, bell hops in old uniforms, greeters in old TWA uniforms dressed as pilots and flight attendants.  We made our way to the room, it was a very comfortable room with ceiling to floor windows that looked out toward the runway, you could see the planes taxiing around.  Our room also looked like it was preserved from the 60’s, it was equipped with a rotary phone, snacks from the 60’s including cinnamon toothpicks which I got a real kick out of and Tab in the mini bar.  We decided to hunt down some dinner, the hotel had a small food court and a fancy restaurant to choose from.  We decided to check out the rooftop bar and pool and start with a glass of wine.  The Chalet was what the rooftop bar was called, all decorated like a ski chalet. The pool next to it was heated and overlooked the runway, what a great spot to sit and watch the planes if it was only warmer outside.  We decided to check out the other amenities the hotel had to offer.  We walked outside and took a look at the ice-skating rink which was situated next to the “Connie”, a Starliner L-1649A.  The Connie had visited JFK in the 1960’s, traveling the elite to flights overseas in pampered comfort and now has been transformed as a lounge, we went inside to find airplane seats with tables along with couches.  We decided to order a cheese plate and a glass of wine for dinner.  We chatted with several local people that just came out to the hotel to stay and take in all the history.  After our dinner we returned to the room to watch a few more planes go by the window before closing our blinds, surprisingly the room was quite soundproof.  The next morning, we were heading to Times Square where we would stay for two nights.  I was excited to see New York as I had never left the airport on my other trips through.  We decided it would be easier to take Lyft rather than figure out the trains and subways.  It was a holiday so traffic was light and we made good time to Manhattan.  We stayed at the Hilton Times Square; it was a great location for what was on our site seeing trip.  Of course, we started by looking at all the lighted buildings and saw where the New Years Eve ball drops, we made our way to Ellen’s Stardust Diner for lunch, the line to get in was long but moved really fast.  The diner was fun, you were entertained by Broadway hopefuls while you ate.  After lunch we made our way to Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, Grand Central Station and the Hard Rock Café to pick up our shirt.  It was really cold in New York so we had to buy some handy ear muffs. To warm up we stopped into O’Donoghues Irish Pub for a beer.  After that we went back to the hotel and got ready to go to the Empire State Building.  We had purchased our tickets in advance and used the fast lane once we arrived.  We had planned to be there at sunset and the view was amazing.  I don’t love heights but managed to do really well.  The next day we had some additional bucket list items to see.  Again, it was super cold, we were loving our ear muff purchase.  We started our day at the 9/11 Memorial, so beautiful but so emotional, we toured the museum also, some of the items in there were hard to look at without tearing up. After the museum we had to walk by Wall Street, that’s what one does when your involved in the stock market and made our way to Battery Park so that we could head out to Ellis Island and to see the Statue of Liberty.  We took the ferry over; the statue didn’t look so big until you were at the bottom of it.  We had purchased tickets to go up to her Crown, I was under the impression there might be an elevator……um nope, a tiny spiral staircase up, geez I thought I was going to die.  Once up in the crown it was a tiny crowded area and it was hard to get any pictures from up there, so we made our way back down the spiral staircase.  I would have to say if I went again, I would skip the crown visit, not worth it. We then took the ferry again over to Ellis island and wondered around the museum before heading back to the city. Taking the subway back towards our hotel we stopped by the Long Hall Pub for a beer.  We had dinner reservations at The Empire State Grill and Bar where the Manager Joe and our waiter took really good care of us. Our last day or so we thought in New York we decided we had to have pizza so after checking out of the hotel we walked to the nearby Joe’s Pizza and ordered up a slice of pizza pie, it was delicious, we still had several hours before we needed to head back to JFK for our flight to Iceland, so we went inside the 3 story M&M store and did a little shopping.  We then headed to O’Briens Pub for a final beer.  We went and picked up our luggage and decided to take a cab to the airport, I was hoping we would get lucky and get the cash cab, darn no such luck.  As we arrived at JFK, we received a text that our flight to Iceland had been cancelled due to high wind there.  Well shoot we are already at the airport, so our text said the flight would now leave at 4:30 am instead of the 7:30 pm.  Well there is no place to really hang out for that amount of time so we made a reservation back at the TWA hotel so we could easily get back to the airport by 2:00 am for the flight.  About 9:00 pm we received another text stating the 4:30 am flight was now cancelled still due to high winds and we would now be flying at 7:30 pm…ugh another long day waiting at the airport, but the flight did leave as scheduled and we made it to Iceland a day late.

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